Right then, that’s that sorted out. We’re no longer wobbling on the home education front and have decided that Emily definitely will not be doing GCSEs. We’re starting to get a lot more “work” done, and there has been quite a lot of Latin, psychology, economics, maths, history and IT since my last post. Emily’s CSS coding work with Gramps is coming along marvellously – last week she designed a fully functional and very elegant web site to hold the huge collection of Harry Potter computer art she’s done – there are now about 100 of these. Unfortunately, she won’t upload it as an actual site, so I can’t link to it – but she did it.
A lot of March was taken up with spiritualist church related issues – the internal politics and squabbling there has to be seen to be believed (and from allegedly spiritual people, you really would expect better) – but the upshot of it is that Jon is now Treasurer of the church, and has been told by the current elderly president that she wants him to be a trustee of the church – the only one, apart from herself. Jon did a number of mediumship demonstrations and special events at churches around Lincs, Yorkshire and Notts last month, and things are looking very positive on that front, even if the whole church politics saga has left us exhausted and saddened.
Moon Surfing for Teens has had its name changed to be just Moon Surfing, and the cover art has been done (and is lovely, I approved it the other day). First proofs should arrive any day now, and once I’ve approved those we should have a publication date. Exciting stuff. Meanwhile, I have another three books at proposal stage.
Over the last fortnight, family history has been an interesting diversion. After a year of not being able to trace the family of my maternal grandfather, we’ve “found” him, as it were. Turns out he was orphaned in 1920s Aberfan, South Wales, losing his mother in the birth of his youngest sibling and his father in an asylum the same year, which left him, aged 16 0r 17, alone and with four youngsters including a newborn to care for. How he did that and then made his way to London to meet and marry my Nan in the 1930s is still a bit of a mystery, but we’ve now proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that it is the right Sydney Catley, and all the names and dates on the 1911 census in Aberfan match up correctly.
I’ve also found a lovely lady who has done extensive research into the Catley family tree, and was able to give me names, dates and details stretching right back to 1700. In a bizarre twist, the earliest known Catley in this tree, a Richard Catley, born 1700, lived and died in Bottesford – just two miles from where I now live in North Lincolnshire, with other family in Kirton Lindsey, also just two miles away. I was born in Somerset and brought up in Morecambe and Berkshire, and nobody knew that my Mum’s family had any connections to Lincolnshire at all, with most of the family history we knew of being in South Wales and Middlesex. How weird! We will be going gravestone hunting in the near future; it will be poignant to find any traces of my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather just down the road.
Haven’t really started on my maternal grandmother’s side of the family yet, beyond my Nan and her siblings; unfortunately, their family name was very common in the Welsh valleys, and it could prove difficult. Next up on the list is investigating an intriguing connection believed to exist between my paternal grandmother’s family (Jacksons) and the branch of the Stephenson family which included the famous “father of the railways” George Stephenson. Fascinating stuff!